Air Canada Airlines Commercial

I spent the last part of my year in 2017 working on a campaign for Air Canada Airlines with director Kevin Foley. This is the first spot, and took us across Canada in record pace travelling to St Johns Newfoundland and Vancouver within three days. The commercial, narrated by Ryan Gosling, centres around the idea that Canada is always home. Something I relate to, having just left the country to go to the United States, Canada will always be home to me…

Kevin and I really wanted this commercial in particular to have scale, so I suggested shooting it in a larger format. Panavision was key in helping us put together a package of Panavision Ultra 65mm lenses, and shooting on their Panavision DXL camera. Having never used the camera, we tested it a fair amount before. I was really impressed with the images. Close ups looked incredible. I had wanted it to have the feel of portraits shot on a Hasselblad, and this really achieve something similar. Seeing around a person’s cheekbones, and getting such incredible details of the face. The close focus of the lenses were super impressive, while at the same time seeing such a great width in the frame. The DXL camera, to house this larger sensor was a bit of a beast. Brought me back to shooting on a film camera size package, but the ergonomics of the camera were really impressive. It fit comfortably on the shoulder and had the same feeling of a film camera.

But we needed to really move the camera with a lots of fluidity and reactiveness. I had decided to do a lot of the movement using a segway, handheld or using an EZ Rig. So the weight of this camera did at times prove tiring, but the images were worth it. For one set up, shooting out in Squamish BC, we needed the camera to be a bit smoother, to be able to cut into a drone shot. So I asked the guys at RVRD in Vancouver if they could fly it on a brushless gimbal rig. They thought they could make it work on the new Ronin 2, which they did, but it was for sure the heaviest camera package I have ever carried…

Here is the spot and some on set videos:

 

Key Crew was as follows:

  • 1st AC – Toronto – Marc Pierce
  • 1st AC – Travel – Colin Doering
  • Gaffer – George Petras
  • Key Grip – Derek Teakle
  • DIT – Gavin Keen
  • Drone Pilot – Matt Bujok and Chris Bacik
  • Movi Tech – Derek Height

Technical:

  • Camera – Panavision DXL, Inspire Drone with Zenmuse X7
  • Lenses – Panavision Ultra 65mm
  • Movement – Handheld, EZ rig, Ronin 2, Segway, Drone